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Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort Sets Sail! Flagship Property Celebrates Official Grand Opening in Style following $80MM Transformation  


Outrigger executives commenced the Grand Opening with a traditional Hawaiian blessing | L-R: Jeff Wagoner, President and CEO; Luana Maitland, Director of Cultural Experience; Markus Krebs, General Manager; Blaine Kia, Kumu; Mike Shaff, VP Operations; Monica Salter, VP Global Communications; Sean Dee, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer

Download High-Resolution Images from the Resort and Grand Opening HERE

HONOLULU – Premier beach resort brand Outrigger Hospitality Group celebrated a significant milestone yesterday with the official Grand Opening of the company’s flagship property, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, following an extensive $80 million transformation.

Approximately 500 VIP guests, including elected officials, key executives, partners, musicians and beloved community members, gathered at the iconic resort for a traditional Hawaiian blessing by Kumu Blaine Kia and dedication ceremony for the contemporary beachfront retreat, rooted in Hawaiian culture. The event symbolized another exciting stride towards completion of the resort and further emphasized Outrigger’s pride of place in its hometown of Waikīkī.

Outrigger’s President and CEO Jeff Wagoner shared words of aloha with the audience, reiterating the company’s drive for authentic hospitality and renewed commitment of the place – divulging that Outrigger is spending upwards of $300 million across its Hawai‘i assets to uplift the destination while preserving and perpetuating the vibrant heritage of the Islands.

“It is with great pride that we welcome friends old and new to celebrate our reimagined Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort,” said Outrigger President and CEO Jeff Wagoner. “Through this extensive transformation, our goal was to ensure that this was a place for locals and visitors alike to come and enjoy Waikīkī as it should be – where Hawaiian music lifts our spirits, where local foods nourish our bodies and local culture enriches our minds.”

In true Outrigger fashion, an exceptional lineup of award-winning local musicians performed throughout the evening. Artists included GRAMMY Award nominee Amy Hānaialiʻi with Jeff Peterson, three-time GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist Kalani Pe‘a and beloved slack-key guitarist Sean Na‘auao. Impromptu appearances by treasured Hawaiian music artists including: Kimié Miner, Josh Tatofi, Bobby Moderow and more, further enhanced the night’s merriment.

A highlight of the night was the dedication of the stage at Kani Ka Pila Grille to Cyril Pahinui – legendary slack-key guitarist who was a regular performer at Kani Ka Pila Grille and bestowed the venue its name – which means “let’s play music” in Hawaiian.

The vibrant music was complemented by ono (delicious) food provided by acclaimed Chef and Outrigger partner, Peter Merriman, who will spearhead the resort’s newest oceanfront eatery, Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman, slated to open in late 2022. Fresh Hawai‘i grown oysters from Kualoa Ranch were served and shucked by Hawai‘i’s one-and-only mobile oyster bar – Oysters Hawai‘i, alongside fresh fish stations from Superb Sushi. Guests sipped on custom cocktails, including the world-famous Monkeypod Mai Tai and beers from Kona Brewing Co. throughout the evening.

Every grand Hawai‘i celebration includes fresh flower lei and this was provided to all guests in abundance by Orchid Lei Co. Outrigger’s Director of Cultural Experiences, Luana Maitland, was on hand to re-introduce guests to Outrigger’s unique Signature Experiences, state-of-the-art A‘o Cultural Center and newly adorned Herb Kāne Lounge. Outrigger was honored to have Deon Kāne, wife of the late Herb Kāne, whose art is found throughout the resort, present that night. Artwork plays a significant role in sharing the history and culture of Hawai‘i and Ethan Estess, Marques Marzan and Kari Noe, who all have their artwork displayed inside the resort, were there to share in the revelry of the evening.

Additionally, an iconic Outrigger canoe from the Friends of Hōkūle‘a and Hawai‘iloa served as the evening’s dazzling centerpiece in the swimming pool – a nod to Outrigger’s rich voyaging heritage. The couple in the canoe added to the magic of the night as before they exited, he got down on one knee for a wedding proposal – to which she happily accepted.

Event partners for the Grand Opening included: Travel Weekly, Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman, Superb Sushi, Kualoa Ranch, Royal Hawaiian Helicopters, HARA, Hawaiian Agriculture Foundation, Hawai‘i Volcanic Water, Kona Brewing Co., Polynesian Voyaging Society, Orchid Lei Co. and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Hawai‘i.

Outrigger CARES – a newly established company foundation was the event beneficiary, with $5,000 going to support local Hawai‘i hosts and non-profit organizations. For more information, or to book a stay at the newly transformed Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, please visit

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Click HERE for a PDF of this release.